COURTING TOURISTS: ESTABLISHING A TOURIST-SPECIFIC JUDICIAL BODY IN QATAR
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A key element of attracting tourists to any country is the promise of safety and security. One of the great fears weighing on the minds of tourists is being embroiled in the legal system of a foreign land. As with attracting foreign direct investment (FDI), one approach to allaying fears is to establish a legal space and regulatory infrastructure purpose-designed to deal with tourists and tourist related grievances. The simplicity of this proposal masks the intricate logistical, regulatory and jurisprudential issues raised when the idea is translated into policy. Other jurisdictions, notably Thailand, have attempted to implement similar policies with little clear documented success. With the impending influx of tourists for the FIFA World Cup 2022, Qatari policy makers might be well served considering the establishment of a tourist-specific judicial body in Qatar. This article explores the practicalities of such a proposal in the context of similar experiments and the ‘rule of law’ ideal.